The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim patch next week; Steam Workshop-powered mods in January

By Alice O'Connor, Dec 01, 2011 2:00pm PST

Next week will bring an "incremental update" to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with fixes for the infamous backwards-flying dragon and other recently-introduced bugs. After that, developer Bethesda has revealed, there'll be "continued game updates," and mod tools will be released for PC in January, using Valve's Steam Workshop.

Fixes for broken resistances and the silly dragons are confirmed for next week's patch, but Bethesda isn't sharing the full changelog just yet. Beyond that, Bethesda plans to release "full title updates" plus "a lot... not just a few" smaller "gameplay updates" after the holidays. PC will get more frequent, and faster, fixes, as Steam doesn't have the rigid certification process of consoles.

After the fun of the backwards dragons, and less fun broken resistances, Bethesda says, "we need to treat our updates with greater care. If we get too aggressive trying to fix a minor issue, we run a risk of breaking something larger in a game like this." It's prioritizing code-side fixes over data-based quest and balance fixes at first, "to be safe."

The real long-term Skyrim excitement, however, will come from January's release of the Creation Kit for PC. It'll be integrated with the Steam Workshop, allowing mod authors to upload their work directly to Steam, where it can be browsed, rated, and easily installed for free.

"The Creation Kit will bundle your mod and upload it to the Workshop, where everyone can browse, rate, and flag mods for download. You'll be able to do this from any web device, including your smartphone," Bethesda explains. "Like a live Netflix queue, when you fire up Skyrim, mods you flagged will be automatically downloaded and installed."

The Steam Workshop initially launched for Team Fortress 2 to track user-made items submitted to Valve in the hope of becoming official.

Mod authors will still be able to release mods the old-fashioned way, if they so fancy. Or, one imagines, if they have particularly lewd content to distribute.

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